Southern Company building the future of energy with new battery storage research demonstration

Building on its 100-year commitment to innovation and historic focus on the research and development of emerging energy solutions, Southern Company and its Gulf Power subsidiary officially launched on July 12th the latest battery storage research project in Southern Company's operating territory. The project represents another important milestone in the company's work to build the future of energy.

Gulf Power and Southern Company executives and experts hosted a commissioning and ribbon-cutting ceremony for the opening of the McCrary Battery Energy Storage Demonstration. (l-r) Steve Baxley, Southern Company Research and Development; Stan Connally, Gulf Power Chairman, President, and CEO; Kim Greene, Chief Operating Officer, Southern Company; Carl Jackson, Research and Development research engineer at Southern Company; and Wendell Smith, Gulf Power Vice President, Customer Service and Sales.
The McCrary Battery Energy Storage Demonstration will demonstrate the capabilities and requirements of an energy storage system designed to help industrial and commercial customers store and use energy on demand, while improving resiliency and potentially helping customers save on energy costs in the future.

Located in Pensacola, Florida, at Gulf Power's Douglas L. McCrary Training and Storm Center, the new research project will test and evaluate a 250 kilowatt/1 megawatt-hour Tesla Powerpack lithium-ion industrial energy storage system over a two-year period. Insights gained from the demonstration are expected to accelerate the development of battery storage technology across the Southern Company system. The lithium-ion technology under evaluation is the same battery chemistry used in electric vehicles and consumer electronics such as laptops.

Company executives and experts hosted a commissioning and ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the project's opening.
"At Southern Company, we are constantly broadening our industry-leading expertise to harness new technologies that can deliver clean, safe, reliable, affordable energy to customers," said Southern Company Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Kimberly S. Greene. "This collaborative research project with Gulf Power will deepen our understanding of battery energy storage systems and the value they can provide."

"Gulf Power is proud to be involved in this battery energy storage demonstration at the McCrary Training and Storm Center and to be in the forefront of evaluating innovative energy technologies," said Stan Connally, Gulf Power chairman, president and CEO. "Throughout our history, we have been host to the development of energy solutions that have resulted in greater energy efficiency, cleaner energy production and value for our customers – and this commissioning event signals our ongoing commitment to build a better energy future."

The McCrary Battery Energy Storage Demonstration was developed by Southern Company research and development in partnership with Gulf Power and in collaboration with the Electric Power Research Institute's Integrated Grid Initiative and Tesla.
Specifically, the project aims to further the understanding of the siting, installation and operational requirements of commercial- and industrial-scale energy storage systems. It will provide information on the advantages battery storage can offer customers and energy providers through peak shaving, demand management, ancillary services, energy arbitrage and backup power.

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